The Pacific Island Council of Trade Unions (PICTU) regional coordination meeting on Labour Mobility in the Pacific on 3-5 July 2023 in Nadi, Fiji. A significant outcome of the meeting was PICTU’s position paper representing the aspirations and expectations of temporary migrant workers from the Pacific countries.
The position paper supports “the strategic objectives of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to: (i) promote and realise standards and fundamental principles and rights at work; (ii) create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and income; (iii) enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all; and to (iv) strengthen tripartism, bipartism and social dialogue.”
It outlines several recommendations, including the following, among others: (i) strict compliance by all parties to existing national labour legislations in the receiving and sending countries; (ii) inclusion of national trade unions in the pre-departure and arrival induction trainings inform the temporary migrant workers of their rights at work and give them the opportunity to join trade unions; (iii) cooperation of national trade unions in the receiving and sending countries to ensure the provision of appropriate assistance to temporary migrant workers; (iv) subjecting relevant labour migration issues to consultations; (v) establishment of Migrant Resource Centres in national trade union centres in both the receiving and sending countries; (vi) review and/or enactment of employment legislations to include temporary migrant workers; and (vii) review of immigration policies.
This initiative came after PICTU’s efforts to revitalise and strengthen itself towards achieving its vision to become a regional trade union organisation that is active and effective in supporting the growth of free, democratic trade unions in the Pacific. The cornerstone of this revitalisation and strengthening effort was laid out during a strategic planning meeting on 18-20 October 2022 in Nadi, Fiji, which was organised with the support of the ILO and the International Trade Union Confederation. During such strategic planning meeting, labour migration was one of the externally focussed priorities that were identified, along with climate change and the growing informal economy.